Posts Tagged ‘SMU Reading Series’

SMU Reading Series: Stephanie Bolster & Susan Gillis

Posted on: November 18th, 2012 by Lori
Stephanie Bolster’s most recent collection, A Page From the Wonders of Life on Earth (Brick, 2011), expands upon her achievement as one of the finest poets of her generation. After her first book, White Stone: The Alice Poems, winner of the 1998 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, she published two other collections, Two Bowls of Milk and Pavilion. She has also edited three books, most recently Penned: Zoo Poems. Raised in Burnaby, BC, she has taught creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal since 2000.
“…a surety of vision…an insider’s eye for the telling aberrant detail…an impeccable ear…”– Judith Fitzgerald
Susan Gillis engages with poetry in many ways, including being one fourth of a quartet of poets known as Yoko’s Dogs, who write collaborative poems in the spirit of Japanese renku. She grew up in Halifax, lived in Victoria, and now teaches at John Abbot College in Montreal. Her first books of poetry were Swimming Among the Ruins and Volta, winner of the 2003 Quebec Writers’ Federation’s A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. This year she has published both a chapbook, Twenty Views of the Lachine Rapids (Gaspereau), and a new collection, The Rapids (Brick).
“At the heart of The Rapids is a lucidly articulate intelligence continuously on the move, taking unexpected turns, opening up multiple new perspectives on every phenomenon – architecture, romance, the Russian novel, St. Jerome, the rapids…” – Roo Borson
Time: Friday, November 23rd @ 7p
Location: Saint Mary’s University – The Atrium, Room 101, 5940 Inglis St.
Admission: Free

SMU Reading Series: Ian Colford

Posted on: November 11th, 2012 by Lori
Evidence, Ian Colford’s powerful genre-bending first book of fiction (a collection of stories? a novel?), won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. From 1995 to ‘98 he was editor of Pottersfield Portfolio, and he has attended both the Yaddo writers’ colony in Saratoga Springs and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat in Scotland. For many years he has been a reference librarian at Dalhousie University. Freehand Books, the publisher of his first novel, The Crimes of Hector Tomás, calls it “an epic novel about disappearance and deception, family and nation.”
Evidence is a rich, shadowed, mind-tweaking puzzle of a book: a shrewd gathering of evidence that entrusts judgment and verdict to the reader.” – Jim Bartley
“These stories explode in vivid detail, amazing breadth of characterization and geography, and stunning displays of conflict and emotional upheaval.” The Danforth Review
Time: Thursday, November 15th @ 7p
Location: Saint Mary’s University, Atrium Rm 101, 5940 Inglis St
Admission: Free

SMU Reading Series: Vincent Lam

Posted on: October 22nd, 2012 by Lori

Vincent Lam is one of those rare people, such as Chekhov and W.C.Williams, who combine a career in medicine with a passion for writing. After living in Ottawa and London, Ontario, he studied medicine at the University of Toronto, and published a medical guide, The Flu Pandemic and You, and a Giller Prize-winning short-story collection, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures. More recently he has published a brief biography of Tommy Douglas for Penguin’s “Extraordinary Canadians” series, and a novel, The Headmaster’s Wager (2012).

“In stages so subtle they’re scarcely noticeable until he’s got you fully in his grip, Lam combines elements of historical fiction, political thriller and domestic drama to present one of the 20th century’s defining stories in a whole new way.” — Ian MacGillis

Time: Thursday, October 25th @ 7p
Location: Saint Mary’s University, Atrium, Rm 101, 5940 Inglis St. 
Admission: Free

SMU Reading Series: Jan Zwicky & M. Travis Lane

Posted on: September 23rd, 2012 by Lori

About Jan Zwicky:

Jan Zwicky is not only one of Canada’s finest poets, she is also a distinguished philosopher, an influential writer on the intersection of ecology and poetry, and an accomplished violinist.

Zwicky emerged as an intellectual and lyrical force on the national poetry scene after publishing three poetry collections in the 1980s, including Wittgenstein Elegies, where she first merged her philosophical and poetic concerns. Then, Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, a book she initially hand made in her kitchen as a gift for friends, won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1999. It has been praised for its eloquent attention to the material/natural world and its emphasis on music and philosophy as lyrical forms.

Zwicky’s subsequent writing, such as Wisdom & Metaphor (2003), has explored unique, polyphonic forms, merging poetry, philosophy, ecological and musical meditations, and even algebraic equations. In 2004 she published Plato as Artist, a non-specialist celebration of Plato’s talents as a writer.

The poems in her new book, Forge, a finalist for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize, are immersed in music, and through music, in the natural world and human relationships. Forge also explores themes of spiritual catastrophe, transformation, and erotic love.

Zwicky has taught philosophy and creative writing at several universities, including Princeton and the Universities of New Brunswick, Western Ontario, and Victoria, and served on the faculty of The Banff Centre’s Writing Studio. She lives on Quadra Island, B.C.

About M. Travis Lane

M. Travis Lane was born on 23 September 1934 in San Antonio, Texas into a military family that moved almost every year. Her father was Colonel W.L. Travis; her mother Elsie Ward Travis. Their daughter’s peripatetic upbringing may explain why she has stayed in Fredericton, New Brunswick since 1960. With her husband, Lauriat Lane Jr. (a professor emeritus in the Department of English at UNB prior to his death in 2005), she raised two children, Hannah and Lauriat III; they all became Canadian citizens in 1973.

Lane earned an honours BA, Phi Beta Kappa, at Vassar College (1956), and an MA and PhD (1967) at Cornell University. Her thesis was entitled “Agnosticism as Technique in the Poetry of Robert Frost.” While at Cornell, she marked for Vladimir Nabokov, acted as section leader for M.H. Abrams, and served on the editorial board of theVassar Review. In Fredericton, she taught English 2000, Modern American Poetry, and West Indian writers at the University of New Brunswick, where she has been an Honorary Research Associate since 1967. In The Fiddlehead, she has published numerous, deeply nuanced reviews and essays on Canadian, West Indian, and European poets.

Notable among her many recognitions for poetic achievement are the Pat Lowther Memorial Award (awarded annually to the best book of poems written by a woman in Canada) for Divinations in 1980; the Atlantic Poetry Prize for Keeping Afloat in 2002; and being honoured at the 2004 Alden Nowlan Festival in Fredericton. A frequent guest author at the Blue Bridge Music Festival in the York region of Ontario, her poem “The Apollonian Whale” was set to music by Humphrey Searle in 1980. Her poems “This Far” and “Owl” were also set to music, in this case by Brenda Muller who later teamed up with the classical trio Ardeleana to compose and perform music for Lane’s long poem “The Witch of the Inner Wood,” which has been performed numerous times over the years, mostly in churches but also at the Blue Bridge Music Festival. Lane has an entry in The Dictionary of Literary Biography: Canadian Writers Since 1960 (W.H. New), and her work is included in over two dozen anthologies. She is a lifetime member of the League of Canadian Poets, a founder of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick, and a member of both the Raging Grannies and Voice of Women for Peace.

Time: Monday, October 1st @ 7pm
Location: Saint Mary’s University, Atrium Rm 101
Admission: Free








SMU Reading Series: Maureen Hynes & Ruth Roach Pierson

Posted on: September 16th, 2012 by Lori

Last year Maureen Hynes published a book with one of the most beautiful titles in recent Canadian poetry: Marrow, Willow (Pedlar Press). Her earlier book Rough Skin won the 1995 Gerald Lampert Award for best first collection by a Canadian poet, and her Harm’s Way appeared in 2001. She is poetry editor of Our Times: Canada’s Independent Labour Magazine, taught for many years at George Brown College, and has published articles in the fields of second-language acquisition, women’s training issues, and human rights.

        “With these ardent poems, Maureen Hynes gives us the voice from deep within mortal matters. She is utterly equal to the challenge undertaken – to lay out the feast of the lived life with singular precision.” – Joanne Page


Ruth Roach Pierson’s poems peels back layers of history with rare, illuminating skill. Her first poetry collections were Where No Window Was and Aide-mémoire, a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Award. For 31 years she taught as an historian and feminist scholar at Memorial University and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. McClelland & Stewart published her study They’re Still Women After All: The Second World War and Canadian Womanhood. In 2011 Tightrope Books published her third poetry collection, Contrary.

        “Pierson’s third book navigates the gyres of retrospect with great feeling – from mirth, to melancholy, to anger, to warmth – and with enviable accomplishment.” – John Barton

Time: Thurday, Sept 20th @ 7pm
Location: Saint Mary’s University, The Atrium, Rm 101, 5940 Inglis St.
Admission:  Free

SMU Reading Series: Linden MacIntyre

Posted on: March 31st, 2012 by Lori

About the Author:

Linden MacIntyre is a co-host of the fifth estate and the winner of nine Gemini Awards for broadcast journalism. His bestselling first novel, The Long Stretch, was nominated for a CBA Libris Award and his boyhood memoir, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence, was a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2006, and won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize. His second novel, The Bishop’s Man, was a #1 national bestseller, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dartmouth Book Award and the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year, and has been published in the U.K. and the U.S. and has been translated into eight languages.

About Why Men Lie:

This latest novel from Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Linden MacIntyre, Why Men Lie, offers a moving and emotionally complex conclusion to the Cape Breton trilogy. Two years after the events of The Bishop’s Man, we’re introduced to Effie MacAskill Gillis, sister of the troubled priest Duncan. It’s 1997, and Effie is an independent, middle-aged woman working as a tenured professor of Celtic Studies, but her complicated and often disappointing love life has left her all but ready to give up on the opposite sex. Then suddenly, a chance encounter with a man on a Toronto subway platform gives Effie renewed hope. J.C. Campbell is an old friend she hasn’t seen for more than 20 years – an attractive, single man who appears to possess the stability and good sense she longs for. Effie met her last husband, Sextus, in her hometown of Cape Breton when the two were still children. As they grew older together, and started a family, she soon learned that when it came to other women, Sextus couldn’t be trusted. After one too many betrayals, Effie leaves him behind, and so when she and J.C. seem to hit it off, his relaxed, open demeanour is a welcome change. But after a happy start to their relationship, cracks begin to show, and J.C. proves himself to be just as unpredictable as the others: one evening Effie spots him in a seedy part of town, but he denies ever having left his house; when she notices a scratch below his eye, he lies about its cause, blaming it on the cat. Then J.C., a journalist, becomes unhealthily engrossed in a story involving a convict on death row, and he and Effie begin to drift apart. Although he still checks in sporadically and insists there’s nothing going on, she soon learns he has a deeply personal reason for his covert trips to that seedy downtown street. In fact, it turns out there’s a lot about his past that Effie doesn’t know, and a lot he’s still learning himself. While J.C. is busy chasing his own past, Effie is rarely able to escape her own. Family ties and hometown connections to Cape Breton mean her two ex-husbands – Sextus happens to be the cousin of her first husband, John – are constantly coming and going in a turbulent mess of comfort and commotion, while her grown daughter, Cassie, brings some unexpected news of her own. After all of her experience in relationships with men, Effie thought she knew all she needed to about what to expect, and how to maintain her self-sufficiency. Why do men lie?, she wants to know. But whether it’s for love, for protection, or for more selfish reasons, Effie soon learns that no amount of experience can prepare you for what might resurface from the past, and for the damage that might cause, emotionally or otherwise.

Time: Monday, April 16th @ 7p
Location: Saint Mary’s University, Atrium 101
Admission:  Free

SMU Reading Series: Amy Jones & Rebecca Rosenblum

Posted on: March 17th, 2012 by Lori

About Amy Jones:

Originally from Halifax, Amy Jones is a graduate of the Optional Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at UBC. Her short fiction has appeared or in several Canadian publications, including The New Quarterly, Grain, Prairie Fire, Event, The Antigonish Review, maisonneuve and 08: Best Canadian Stories. In 2006, she was the winner of the CBC Literary Award for Short Story in English. Her first short fiction collection, What Boys Like, is the winner of the 2008-2009 Metcalf-Rooke Award and is published by Biblioasis. Amy currently lives in Toronto.

About Rebecca Rosenblum:

Rebecca Rosenblum is a writer and editor living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a small town near Hamilton, Ontario. She holds an Honours English degree from McGill, a publishing certificate from Ryerson, and a masters of English and creative writing from University of Toronto. She works in publishing during the day, writes short stories evenings and weekends, and…that’s pretty much it. She spends her remaining time on the bus or asleep or both.

Rebecca’s short fiction has been short-listed for the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Danuta Gleed Award, longlisted for the Relit Award, and she was herself a juror for the Journey Prize 21. Her work has been seen in Exile Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, The New Quarterly, Journey Prize Stories 19, Maisonnueve, Coming Attractions, and Best Canadian Stories.

Her first collection of stories, Once, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award and was one of Quill and Quire’s 15 Books That Mattered in 2008. The Maclean’s blog called Rebecca  “Canlit Rookie of the Year” in 2008. Her second collection, *The Big Dream*, is forthcoming from Biblioasis in September 2011.

Time: Tuesday, March 27th @ 7p
Location: SMU Atrium, Room 101, 923 Robie St.
Admission: Free

SMU Reading Series: Don McKay & Jacob McArthur Mooney

Posted on: March 3rd, 2012 by Lori

Don McKay has lived in several areas of Canada – southwestern Ontario, New Brunswick, Vancouver Island and, currently, Newfoundland – and his books have won the Griffin Prize, as well as two Governor Generals’ Awards. A selection of his poems translated into Italian was recently published. His most recent books of prose are The Muskwa Assemblage (2009) and The Shell of the Tortoise (2011), both published by Gaspereau Press. His new collection of poetry from McClelland & Stewart, Paradoxides, is forthcoming this spring. For the first full week of March 2012, McKay is the short-term Writer in Residence at Saint Mary’s University.

“McKay’s poetry is always a re-envisioning of things, a finding of the wilderness inherent in them – the birch groves in the lawn chairs – connecting them to their original selves, or selves they might dream of being…. Like a basketball player aiming at the hoop from very far off, McKay stretches language and imagery right to its limits; sometime it’s as if he’s aiming at the hoop from way outside the court – in another city, perhaps…” – Barbara Colebrook Peace

Jacob McArthur Mooney’s debut book of poetry was the much acclaimed The New Layman’s Almanac. A poetry commentator and critic, Mooney writes the popular Vox Populism blog, and was recently in residence in the Pierre Berton House in the Yukon. A Nova Scotian now living in Toronto, he is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph-Humber. In the spring of 2011 McClelland & Stewart published his second book of poetry, Folk, which deals with local and distant effects of the 1998 Swissair crash off Halifax, and with neighborhoods around Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

“This is Canada speaking, loud, clear, quirky and unashamed to be itself.” – The Globe & Mail

Time: Wednesday, March 7th @ 7p
Location: Room 101, The Atrium, 923 Robie St., Saint Mary’s University
Admission:  Free

SMU Reading Series: Tammy Armstrong & Nick Thran

Posted on: February 4th, 2012 by Lori

Tammy Armstrong, originally from St. Stephen, New Brunswick, has travelled to more than twenty countries, lived for several years in Vancouver – where she completed an MFA at UBC – and is now based in Fredericton. This year she is in the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship, studying for a PhD in Animal Studies at Georgia State University. She has published two novels (Pye-Dogs and Translations: Airstream) and four collections of poems – Bogman’s Music (a Governor General’s Award nominee), UnravelTake Us Quietly and, most recently, The Scare in the Crown (Goose Lane, 2010).”Armstrong’s writing has impressed me for its daring syntax, imaginative language, offbeat imagery. Hers are poems of sensual impact” – Todd Swift
Nick Thran has published two collections of poetry, Every Inadequate Name (nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award) and Earworm (Nightwood, 2011). After growing up in western Canada, Spain, and California, he lived in Toronto and in Brooklyn, New York. He has been a Goldwater Teaching Fellow and MFA candidate at New York University, and this year is living in Fredericton, where his wife, poet Sue Sinclair, is the current writer-in-residence at UNB. “Side-stepping the more likely subjects, Thran’s poems freewheel through a rangy lyricscape of our urban, cultural life. Sprawling, irrepressible, Earworm darts with wild control and energy, like a skateboard in a car park, taking the reader along on its engaging ride.” – David O’Meara

Time: Thursday, February 16th @ 7pm
Location: SMU Atrium 101
Admission: Free

SMU Reading Series: Sue Goyette

Posted on: February 4th, 2012 by Lori

Sue Goyette’s outskirts is a tour de force. Its originality lies in Goyette’s refusal of despair, her conviction that the connections among people, their conversation, curiosity, empathy and awe, can help us see a way forward. Her aim is to find energy in human love, a way to walk the darkness rather than hide from it. This book will name you, and frighten you; make you laugh, and arm you for what is to come.

…Leave the gossip to the rivers.  Photographs will be buried at the base of diseased trees.  All eyes are distractible, smiles are especially alluring.  The sump-pump can’t get rid of the water and god, I am told, is a canoe-shaped hole in all of us.  Books, those old grandmothers, are losing their teeth.  Stay focused.  Those aren’t stars, they’re flashlights.  Add, don’t divide.  Love best those who have forgotten how.  There are no favourites in this dark.  Now scatter.

Time: Tuesday, February 7th @ 7pm
Location: SMU Atrium 101
Admission: Free